Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) — The awkwardness and hidden concerns behind

The Shanghai International Film Festival was named ‘one of the three major international A-class film festivals in Asia’ and has been running for 21 years. It already become a mature and successful film festival all over the world. However, there are also concerns of SIFF — The selected films in the main competition are not so well known. Wang Xiaoshuai once reflected this problem: the shortlisted films have never had the opportunity to meet with the Chinese domestic audience, and people often question because they cannot watch them.


Cannes Film Festival is much more popular


Compared with the three major A-class international film festivals in Europe — Cannes, Venice and Berlin International Film Festival, the most eye-catching thing is always the films in the selection panel. For example, the Cannes Film Festival mainly introduced the films in the competition at the rate of two per day in 10 days. Besides, from watching movies to taking photos to the press conference and premiere, journalists all over the world are busy around the competition. Moreover, the press card is even divided into different levels, and they often have to wait for 1 to 2 hours to watch the film in the heat. Some films that are displayed or promoted are just the icing on the cake and cannot shake the status of films in the competition.

This shows that the festival, in addition to showing the art of film, is also a trading market.The normal logic should often be: a film is shortlisted at a film festival — winning awards and attention — and going to market, so that the film festivals can attract good films to compete, and that it can also attract many publishers to buy at higher prices. However, taking SIFF as an example, although China’s film market is getting better and better, many excellent films do not want to come to Shanghai for competition. One of the reasons is that although the Chinese market is large in scale, it is relatively flat in taste, and the publishers are not willing to taking risk.


People pay attention to things other than the films itself


This time, the showing of the Newcomer Award films and Golden Goblet Award films, whether it is the screening or the media meeting, are a little bit quiet, and the reason is quite obvious. If the main creator does not have famous directors or famous celebrities, it cannot attract the attention of journalists. Taking two famous films as an example. The first one is ‘Lost, Found’, which has two famous Chinese female actors Yao Chen and Ma Yili. The other one is ‘The Cat in Their Arms’, which has the famous Japanese movie actress Kaoru Amane. Besides, there are also frequent new movie release conferences and the market appreciation parties……. From these two cases, we can see the attention of the media to the charm of the movie itself has been widelyshifted by other commercial activities.


The Closing ceremony of SIFF


Another awkward moment occurred at the closing ceremony of the Shanghai film festival. All the best actors and actresses at the Golden Goblet Awards were unable to attend the event. Several of the award-winning guests left the stage without even taking the time to speak. All the halo was given to the Chinese filmmakers present at the scene, which seems to prove the decline of the main competition. Perhaps the most fundamental responsibility of the SIFF is to attract outstanding works, support new directors, and open up markets and art.

One thought on “Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) — The awkwardness and hidden concerns behind

  1. Dear Papayapenny, can you pls send me an email with your name, so I can allocate your entries to your name? thank you, Irina


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